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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Weekly Recipe - Quinoa Protein Bars

I've been slacking in the healthy recipe department, and after trying these delicious Quinoa Protein Bars I couldn't help but be inspired to try to start posting a healthy recipe weekly. Many of us at Fitness Together Downtown and Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside follow some type of a carb cycling meal plan, and these would be perfect for one of the snacks on a high or moderate carb day. Even if you're not on a carb cycling meal plan, these are still a tasty, healthy, alternative for a snack when you get that craving for something sweet or chocolate. I found this recipe at skinnyms.com

Couple tips from me personally. I shaped into one big square, about 1" in thickness and then cut into bars. I recommend cutting bars prior to spreading the chocolate on the bars. I actually thought they tasted better after letting them set overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.



Yields: 8 bars | serving size: 1 bar | Calories: 376 | Previous Points: 8 | Points Plus: 11 | Total Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fats: 3 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 3 mg | Carbohydrates: 63 g | Dietary fiber: 10 g | Sugars: 33 g | Protein: 14 g

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 16 whole (pitted) dates, no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds with skin
  • 1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (almond butter is an option) or try SunButter (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, Optional Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
 
 
TIP: Make this recipe into 20 Quinoa Protein Bites at about 1" each, and you've got a snack that's under 100 calories!
 
NOTE: The fats in our Quinoa Protein Bars are healthy fats primarily from the almonds. The calories are mostly from the dates, which is one of nature's sweetest foods. You will find only natural, unrefined sugars in this recipe which contains 4 SUPERFOODS--Quinoa, dates, almonds and dark chocolate. 
 
Directions 
Add quinoa and water to a small sauce, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours...overnight will work.
Using a food processor or high powered blender, add dates and pulse until they form a ball. Remove dates and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill. Add dates, almonds, peanut butter and cold quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined. Return ingredients to the mixing bowl, shape into 6 - 2" x 1" bars, about 1" thickness. Place on a dish, refrigerate until chocolate is set.
 
In a small saucepan, add chocolate chips and honey...melt over low heat or in a double-boiler. Evenly spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of each protein bar, return to the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for several days. 
 
Optional, omit the honey and add chocolate chips to the food processor when adding the quinoa.